Little Rainbow Dreams – Personalised Books

ABOUT

Little Rainbow Dreams provides personalised books with bright, colourful illustrations and simple stories with short sentences aimed at children. It was started with the intent of using stories to engage the imagination of children, nurture a reading habit and to involve  parents in the whole process. Reading promotes bonding and can be a time for parents to put down their adult worries and just focus on spending that quality time with the children. 

A few weeks before Emmett was born, Little Rainbow Dreams invited me to choose a book from their selection as a present for Elise in addition to The Elephant Story. I picked the Big Sibling book for her to cope better with the changes in routine with her brother around. Accompanying the two personalised books was a handwritten message! Handwritten messages are rare nowadays and it adds a personal touch to the present.

Elise has a prosthetic eye which in time, will be something that she notices is different from her peers. Thankfully, at age 2, she isn’t too bothered about it yet and the loss of an eye doesn’t seem to impact her adversely. She climbs stairs and plays soccer like a pro. The Elephant Story teaches children that there is no need to compare themselves to others because everybody is special in their own way. Should she ever feel inadequate, I hope this story will encourage her. 

She has no patience to wait for me to finish reading and turns the page halfway through most children books. These softcover books are personalised from start to end and use the child’s name as the main character. Short sentences (perfect for bedtime stories) and attractive illustrations with commonly recognisable animals and characters draw children into the story. 

The Big Sibling book caught Elise’s attention and she flipped through the book at her own pace.
 

“Our baby is always sleeping.”

Said baby. Sleeping.

Not “always”! 

 


Mon Chéri Box

We also received the Mon Chéri Box, a Christmas themed gift set. The name Mon Chéri means “My Darling” in French. You can choose to include personalised messages on the front page of each book too. 

What’s inside the box: Stickers, A DIY snowglobe, Stamp and personalised Christmas book. 

What I like about the Christmas book is that it’s an interactive activity book that encourages the children to use the stickers provided in the box to decorate the pages. The box is a perfect opportunity for parents to create memories through assembling the DIY snowglobe together with the children. The globe is simple enough for children to create and they can make it their own with stickers and stamps. Elise is at that stage where she doodles on her train tracks and decorates her stacking cups with stickers.   

The DIY snowglobe makes its appearance in some pages for sharp eyed young ones to spot. 

 

We’re keeping our box for the Christmas event in Christmas storyland, 18 Nov, 3-5pm at Bove.

Do sign up early as there are limited slots! Join LRD for a immersive weekend of storytelling and fun-filled activities.
Make this Christmas a magical one for your little one with LRD magical Christmas collection!
Visit www.littlerainbowdreams.com/xmas-snowland for more details.

There is a 15% early bird discount at $57.80 (U.P. $68) for the Mon Chéri Box valid till 19 Nov.
*** Lead time is 4 weeks so do place your order early to have LRD Santa deliver your Christmas gift by Christmas!

Annie Matthew – Nursing & Maternity Wear

 

About

Annee Matthew is a local brand established in 2001 by Annee Neo, the quirkiest mom I’ve ever met. Then, there weren’t many stylish nursing labels around, so she decided to take things into her own hands and make some. From a small home business, her brand has now made its presence overseas, with distributors from as far as Europe. She also participates regularly in baby fairs. 

I’m not cut out to be a fashion blogger (no domestic helper on stand-by to take 100 shots of me posing, no Insta-worthy background), but I am pregnant with a bump, so Annee offered me a pick of three items from her collection to ~model~ in. 

Products

There’s sleepwear, maternity/nursing dresses, tops, bottoms, lingerie and a yoga collection. I chose two dresses and a pair of shorts because dresses are the easiest to wear and I happened to need maternity shorts. Too practical. Here’s what I chose: 

The model does it better than me so please look at her. I’ve had nursing dresses which had obvious horizontal zips across the bustline and were not suitable for discreet nursing. This dress accommodates my bump and the V-neck opens up for easy, convenient and discreet nursing. I’m okay with nursing in public but only when it’s done in a manner that’s almost unnoticeable, because there’s no need to tell the whole world that your kid is suckling. Anyway… I was rather surprised when I got hold of the actual product because I didn’t realise that the sleeves and nursing panel had animal prints… but it doesn’t show that loudly in photos (thankfully). 

Here’s Elise trying to pose together with me. The dress doesn’t hide the bump which is EXCELLENT because I managed to get seats in the subway in Korea even during peak hour. In the subway, there are rows of reserved seats which are almost sacred; NOBODY sits on those seats unless they fall into 1 of the 4 categories: elderly, pregnant, handicapped, parent with infant. If you don’t and you so much as attempt to sit down, you’ll get rebuked by the defenders of the reserved seats, usually an ajumma. They’re very vocal. A woman was talking on the phone a little too loudly and got shushed promptly “EVERYONE CAN HEAR YOU, mind your volume!”. 

So with this dress, it became very obvious that I had 1.5 kids with me and it became my claim to the reserved seats. Can’t risk falling down with a bump this huge. 

This dress is made from 95% cotton and 5% spandex. Cooling and comfortable, it’s still one of my go-to dresses.

I chose this dress because of its cleverly hidden opening. From the photo, it just looks like a normal dress but it suits moms from the first to third trimester and beyond. I brought this to Korea but didn’t manage to get any decent photos taken. Like the above dress, this also lets you nurse in a non-obvious manner. It’s perfect to get the job done yet not attract unwanted attention. This dress is made of 96% viscose and 4% spandex. Adding spandex allows the dress more elasticity. 

Both dresses have no scratchy parts and are very comfortable to wear. 

That’s not my tummy in the photo. This pair of shorts is heavier and of a thicker material than most shorts (100% neoprene) but is supportive for the bump and comes with two side pockets to store tiny essentials. I don’t think I’ll see such a tummy even after I give birth so there’s no way I’ll wear it like the first photo. I prefer it pulled all the way up and paired with a loose top to hide the colour of the belly support. It doesn’t feel tight or suffocating at all. 

There’s no giveaway currently, but there’s a huge summer sale with almost all the products going for very attractive prices. There’s free shipping for orders above $100, which shouldn’t be too hard to hit (just 3 sale items!) if you haven’t started shopping for maternity and nursing wear!

Website
Facebook Page

** I received 2 maternity/nursing dresses and a pair of shorts for the purpose of this review. **

SG Homemade: Natural Food Powders

ABOUT

SG Homemade stands for Stephanie Goh Homemade. Homemade food powders provide an alternative to processed stock cubes and liquids sold in supermarkets. These are definitely not meant as meal replacements or even ingredient replacements, but serve as natural flavour enhancers for children (and adults) with fussy tastebuds. Stephanie is a working mother to a toddler and she started her line of powders after seeing how her daughter finished an entire bowl of bee hoon soup which was made with chicken powder.

To ensure hygiene standards, she sterilises her equipment, utensils and packaging before use. Currently, she has 3 flavours in store – sakura chicken, oyster mushroom and ikan bilis.

SYSTEM
Stephanie has invested in a proper ordering system for her site so customers can pay securely via PayPal/Card instead of iBanking. There are order numbers and each order is updated with its own SmartPac tracking number when it has been sent out.


PACKAGING

SG Homemade food powders are packed in food grade glass jars with personalised labels and have quality seals along the black covers to ensure that the containers are not tampered with during the delivery process. Although the glass bottles cost more than regular ziplock bags and are heavier to ship, Stephanie prefers this option as glass is the safest medium to store food in, regardless of whether the plastic is BPA-free or not.

20g bundle with 3 different flavours – Sakura Chicken, Ikan Bilis, King Oyster Mushroom
Round stickers indicating date of creation. The tops were sealed in plastic but I opened them before taking photographs.. :O

PRODUCT

I’ve used processed chicken and ikan bilis stock cubes from the supermarket before, but found them too salty. Portion control was also an issue, as I didn’t need to use one entire cube for seasoning Elise’s food, yet the remainder could not be kept for long after opening. Previously before I was introduced to food powders, I felt it was a waste of money because I could just use the actual ingredients.

What I didn’t know then, was that there would be days where I would be sooooooooo exhausted and had zero idea what to prepare for Elise’s dinner, yet there aren’t any healthy choices for toddlers in the eating places near my place. These powders are made from actual handpicked ingredients which are baked over a controlled temperature for many hours before being ground into powder.

The powders are fine and there are no lumps. It resembles loose powder or baby powder with a light fragrance. I’ve been using them to create bases for pasta and stir-fries. Since it’s already cooked fully, they can be sprinkled onto cooked food or just mixed into hot water. Elise is not a picky eater so she doesn’t have problems eating. She has, however, been exposed to outside food which are laden with preservatives and seasoning, which is why I try as much as possible to cook with natural flavours as much as possible.


COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

According to Stephanie, here are a few questions which she gets asked a lot:

Q: Do you add anything else to your powders?
A: Only 100% of the ingredient is used, no salt no oil.

Q: Is your ikan bilis salty? 
A:
  I soak till it’s no longer salty but the fish itself originally does come with salt content.

Q: The homemade powder I made at home can only be kept up to 1 week maximum. Why can yours be kept up to 12 months? Do you add preservatives?
A:  There are methods which utilise high heat to bake the ingredients for a short period of time which kills nutrients. The outside will appear brown but it will not be dry on the inside. Hence, there is moisture retained and the resulting powder can only be kept for a short period of time before it goes stale.

SG Homemade powders can be kept up to 12 months in fridge due to zero moisture content. Ingredients are also cooked below 120 degrees to ensure that nutrients are retained.

Q: Why buy when there are so many recipes online?
A: You can create powders yourself, but the process to ensure nutrient preservation as well as zero moisture is a tedious one. This is the amount of raw product needed to create 20g of powder!

200g Mushroom -> 10x
80g Chicken -> 4x
50g Ikan Bilis -> 2.5x
Q: How long does it take to receive my product? 
A: As all items are created upon order, the current lead time is about 2 weeks.

RECIPES

Beef & Carrot Pasta

Ingredients: Baby pasta, beef, carrot bits
Method:
1) Pan-fry beef and carrots with a bit of butter. Boil baby shapes pasta in another pot.
2) Add cooked pasta to pan.
3) Sprinkle mushroom powder for added flavour.
4) Serve.

Salmon & Corn Spaghetti

Ingredients: Corn kernels, salmon, pasta, chicken powder
Method:
1) Boil water in frying pan with a bit of chicken powder.
2) Place spaghetti into pan on medium fire until it turns soft and stock is reduced.
3) Add in corn kernels and salmon.
4) Serve.


GIVEAWAY – 20g x 3 Soup Bundle (Worth $30)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to Isabelle Liu for winning the soup bundle! The discount code SGNEWBIE for $10 off $50 is available for all to use!

** I received a soup bundle (20g x 3 jars) to review and purchased a 50g Sakura Chicken powder jar to test out the ordering system. No monetary compensation was received in exchange for the review.